Group E: Abahani Limited Dhaka 3-2 Chennaiyin FC
Dhaka: Mamunul Islam was Abahani Limited Dhaka's hero with the winning goal as they came from behind to defeat Chennaiyin FC 3-2 in a 2019 AFC Cup Group E tie on Wednesday.
The two teams played out two contrasting halves, the second of which saw three goals packed in a space of 10 minutes. A late goal by Mamunul Islam clinched a hard-fought game in favour of the hosts.
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Unlike the last game between the two teams, which saw a late own goal as the game’s only strike, Chennaiyin took matters in their own hands this time with an early lead.
In the seventh minute, C.K Vineeth was successful in converting a corner kick with minimal fuss to hand his team the advantage. The attacks continued from the Indian club as they tested Sahidul Alam on multiple occasions within the first 30 minutes.
Abahani were able to create a few chances in the first half but were guilty of not capitalising on them. In the 30th minute, Sunday broke into the box from the left but smashed a rebound from the defender over the bar.
Minutes later, Jewel Rana had another chance from a cross but failed to connect from metres away from the bar. Karanjit’s neat work with the gloves also denied them a couple of more opportunities near the half-time mark.
FULL-TIME! | Abahani Limited Dhaka 🇧🇩 3-2 @ChennaiyinFC 🇮🇳— AFC Cup (@AFCCup) May 15, 2019
👏 A tremendous second half ends as 3⃣ points for Abahani sees them move level with Chennaiyin at the Group E summit with 2⃣ games to play.
#ABAvCNY #AFCCup2019 pic.twitter.com/kLQGpp3cgh
The Bangladesh club actively sought to equalise throughout the second half and kept the Chennaiyin defence busy.
Just when things started to drift Chennaiyin’s way, Belfort succeeded in finding the back of the net with the deftest of touches after chesting down a long ball and cleverly dodging past Mailson in the 64th minute.
In the 69th minute, Abahani turned the tables on Chennaiyin when Masih Saighani delivered a perfect left-footed free-kick from the edge of the box to make it two goals in five minutes for the home side.
The visitors came back strongly within five minutes as the newly introduced Thoi Singh dazzled his way past Dhaka defenders before creating a chance for Isaac Vanmalsawma who tapped it into an open goal to equalise.
An 88th-minute throw-in, however, allowed Mamunul Islam to deliver the knockout punch as he found space in a crowded box to slot in a spectacular left-footer to send Abahani into the lead once again. Chennaiyin tried hard to claw their way back into the game after that but the equaliser eluded them.
In their next encounter, the Indian side will be up against Minerva FC on Matchday Five while Abahani will meet the bottom-placed Manang Marshyangdi.
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